aging (grey) wood


Well-known member
Has anyone tried to age/weather (grey color) wood? I've tried the method of soaking steel wool in vinegar but it only turns the wood a medium brown color. It does not matter how long I soak the steel wool or what wood I use. It only turns brown. The guys on You Tube said it turns grey.

Dennis Bork
Antiquity Period Designs, Ltd.


Dennis, a couple things you might try:
Put a generous wad of steel wool in a jar and cover it with vinegar. Let the vinegar completely dissolve the steel wool. It will take a few days.
Make some with apple cider vinegar and some with white vinegar. The colors you get will be subtly different.
Try ferrous oxide… it…..I have dry crystals that mix with water and is immediately useful for turning wood grey to black.
Good luck,

Peter Storey Pentz

Well-known member

I have spent some time over the past couple of years trying to work out a "period" way to enhance the figure of curly maple.  I do not know what wood you are trying to color, but it does make a difference.  The iron and vinegar solution works on woods that have a high tannin content (i.e. oak).  Maple doesn't have much tannin so I increase it by thoroughly soaking the surface with strong, hot tea.  Let it dry a few days.  Then I soak it with the iron and vinegar (also hot).  The raised grain all these hot soakings creates is something of an asset as sanding in between applications heightens the contrast of the figure.  The technique is not terribly exact, more art than science.  I do a lot of samples and waiting. But, I have managed to get fresh, white maple to a very dark, almost black, charcoal grey.  PSP